Our blog posts seem to have taken on a bit of theme of late, so I have decided to call them the simple changes series, because that is what they seem to be, a series of simple changes you can make to make your home a greener and hopefully healthier place, with a lighter footprint.
So to continue this, we are going to talk bags. Yes, I appreciate this might not be the most exciting topic you have ever read about, but it is another small but important change that can have a massive impact.
We have already heard so much about plastic shopping bags and how they are/were a scourge upon the environment. Whether you love or hate the fact that you now have to take your own bags to the shops or be charged for them, there is no denying that it has had a huge positive effect.
According to government stats for 2015-16, since the plastic bag tax policy came into force in England in October 2015, the total number of carrier bags used at the UK's biggest retailers has fallen by an estimated 85%. And in direct relation to this studies of plastic litter found in the North and Celtic Seas, they found statistically significant reductions in the amount of plastic bags in the sea from 2010 (when Ireland introduced the tax) – 2017. Plastic bags are the only form of plastic litter to have seen a reduction over this time frame. All other forms have increased.
To me this demonstrates two things; - Firstly we really can make a difference when we try! It is amazing to read about positive environmental impacts for a change!
And secondly we really need to take more personal responsibility for this stuff. It is sad that it has to take the government stepping in and penalising us for ‘us’ as a significant collective to make the changes needed. Every time we spend money, make a choice we really are voting and contributing towards the kind of world we want to live in and we really need to start taking responsibility for that.
So why am I writing this post about bags? Has it not already been dealt with? Single use carrier bags yes. But these are not the only plastic bags we use!
If you have been following the blogs for a while then you probably know that Wikaniko started life simply selling bags. From alternatives to the single use carrier bags to all sorts of bin bags, freezer bags, sandwich bags, dog waste and nappy bags. You see, they creep in everywhere.
But there are alternatives and really as a user you will not notice any difference. They look the same the feel same and they do exactly the same job. So what’s the difference? Once you have finished using them they break down much much quicker in
the environment and not only that but instead of simply becoming smaller and smaller piece of plastic, they biodegrade, just like a leaf and leave nothing behind. No toxic residues and no fragments of plastic.
They are known as Oxy-biodegradable plastics and the only difference is an additive called d2w that is added to the plastic at the manufacturing stage of production. Creating what is known as ‘controlled life’ plastic. It also does not stop the plastic from being recyclable (not particularly important for a bin bag perhaps, but useful in other areas!)
According to Symphony Environmental -
“Oxo-biodegradable plastic has been studied by scientists for many years http://www.biodeg.org/bibliography.html
Most recently at the Technical Research Institute of Sweden and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, and a peer-reviewed report of the work was published in Vol 96 of the journal of Polymer Degradation & Stability (2011) at page 919-928 where they found 91% biodegradation within 24 months.
Furthermore, ten governments in the world have examined this technology very carefully and rea
lised that Oxo-biodegradable plastic offers a solution to plastic waste that escapes into the open environment and cannot realistically be collected. They have legislated to make Oxo-biodegradable plastic mandatory, because it does not just fragment - It biodegrades.”
If you want to know more about the bags then please visit this link which has some great information
To me it seems a shame to place items that have the potential to degrade fairly quickly and sealing them in a plastic bag that will help to preserve them for many decades, and for that plastic bag to never really go away. Even the messy business of dog poop, or degradable nappies, sealed up in a plastic bag that will keep them around for many years and stop them degrading as they should.
In the D2w Range of bags you will find –
Standard Refuse Sacks – Great for general domestic waste and they are strong. We find them perfect for our kitchen bin and you probably will too.
Heavy Duty Refuse Sacks – The kin of the above but thicker and also come with a drawstring.
Pedal Bin Liners – Perfect for bathrooms and smaller kitchen bins
Green vest general purpose bags. These are great for everything from use as dog waste bags, to nappy sacks, to collecting blackberries or anything else you can think of really (and yes we have used them for all of those!)
A few other options available to you are;
Kompost Kaddy Bags - Simply drop the full bag into your compost bin! Composts quickly and easily (within 60 – 90 days). Suitable for putting into council bins, but more importantly they are 'OK Home' which means that you can put them into your home composter. These are probably the only bags with this specification.
Beaming Baby Biodegradable Nappy Sacks
Available in fragranced and unfragranced. These biodegradefar quicker than regular nappy sacks allowing your nappy to start biodegrading more quickly too.
And if you still need some great bags for doing your weekly shop -
So there are great options out there that allow us to do more for the environment without putting ourselves to any great effort. Do we really need to be forced to make these changes? Wouldn’t it be amazing if we stood up as a nation and said, ‘actually no, we choose to do things differently.’ Wouldn’t it be great if we caused the change, rather than being forced to change??